Extreme Mustang Makeover 6/25/07
Monday, June 25, 2007
More of the same - lots of reinforcement of lessons already learned. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of good groundwork and practicing those skills until they become second nature. Amigo is now reliably leading from the left, even trotting at Ted's side. From the right - not so good. So Ted spent a little time working on that. Soon he was leading and even a couple of trot steps from the right. Amigo is still a wild horse, and you have to be always aware of the surroundings. He does better with stimuli that are up close than he does with things at a distance. He will startle, but even then, it's a jump and look, not a full out bolt or worse.
Meeting the big saddle
Tonight it was time to meet the big saddle. Amigo had been doing fine with the small, lightweight, synthetic saddle, even with the cinch tight. So Ted decided it was time for him to meet the saddle that will be his for the next couple of months. It is a heavy, western saddle form the Allen Ranch Saddle Shop. It was made for Tuf, so we will have to check the fit and pad or adjust accordingly for Amigo. It seemed to fit fairly well, but riding will be the ultimate test. After getting it cinched up and adjusted, Amigo didn't seem to have any real concerns just standing with it (especially if there was still green grass for the taking). Even the rear girth didn't seem to be a concern.
Ted stepped into the stirrup from each side, placing full weight on the saddle, leaning over the horse so Amigo could see him from both sides, even sliding his other leg up over Amigo's rump and petting him all over.
Next it was time to let Amigo discover the feel of moving under the weight of the saddle and rigging and having the stirrups banging, all new experiences for him. It was off to the round pen for this. The pen is still wet and too soft, but it has been drying out for two days now, so Ted decided to use it for a short session like this. Unfortunately, it is raining again today and will be for the next four days.
Yes, Amigo CAN buck. This is a good thing in that he learned that the saddle wasn't going anywhere, nor did it kill him. He threw five or six really good bucks, and then settled down into working. He then longed a bit under saddle and took that right in stride. He'll probably spend the next few sessions doing more ground work and some longeing under saddle before the first few rides.